The Big Picure: Your Study. Your Vision. Your Plan for the City of Huntsville

Vision

  • The Huntsville metro has a broad and healthy ecosystem of locally-owned and home-grown companies.

About

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are a critical linchpin in the transformation and diversification of the local economic base. Entrepreneurs tend to be “sticky,” that is, they tend to stay in the same place or at least in close proximity to the place they started their business; beginning what is called a “virtuous cycle.” Entrepreneurs and small businesses are assets for a community because they are making localized decisions and increasing local leadership capacity. Most importantly, entrepreneurs create wealth locally, and thus, keep local dollars cycling through the local economy. It is crucial to support people that are already in the community, trying to get a foothold on starting a business, figuring out how to make sure their business survives or taking an existing business to the next level.

Actions

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    Create a database of local and regional assets and resources to serve as a reference guide for entrepreneurs and small business owners in Huntsville. Manage the database to remain up-to-date.

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    Partner to drive traffic toward existing websites targeted at being resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and provide support to ensure that they are up-to-date and effective.

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    Create/expand revolving loan funds to assist with business start-up costs; they can provide the competitive advantage necessary to convince a small business to choose Huntsville, remain in Huntsville, or expand in Huntsville.

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    Create a task force focused on supporting local small businesses to ensure ongoing and relevant assistance is provided. Membership should be comprised of small business owners, community leaders, and economic development partner organizations.

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    Increase local internship opportunities to benefit both students and small businesses.

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    Compile a database of all small businesses in Huntsville, using national databases, regional resources, and local business license information. Manage the database to remain up-to-date, particularly tracking openings, expansions, and closures.

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    Grow local businesses through “economic gardening”, focused on delivering tailored information to support firms in entering new markets, exporting products, and expanding customer bases.

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    Host events to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners with established business and community leaders.